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May 10, 2013 7:01 pm
Scotland The Eden Rock, the luxury hotel on the French Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy, has launched an outpost in the Scottish Highlands. Glen Affric, a Victorian manor on the shores of Loch Affric, was a private home of the Matthews family, the owners of Eden Rock, but after five years of restoration is now being offered to paying guests. The main house has eight bedrooms, a dining room for 16, a cinema and a billiards room. Activities include pony-riding, trout and salmon fishing, hiking, grouse shooting and stalking. Three nights full-board, for up to eight people, cost from £11,880 (or £17,880 for 16 people). www.glenaffricestate.com
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Bhutan The Himalayan kingdom’s development as an upmarket tourist destination continues next month with the opening of Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, a luxurious new hotel in the less-visited central part of the country. It will have 12 rooms and a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the valley below, but the main draw will be hot-air balloon rides over the mountains, something not currently available anywhere else in Bhutan. The lodge is a joint venture between a Bhutanese company and Eastern Safaris, which runs the successful “Balloons over Bagan” hot-air ballooning operation in Myanmar. Double rooms cost from $650, or tour operator Natural High Safaris offers a week’s trip to Bhutan, including flights from Kathmandu, guiding, two nights at Gangtey and a balloon flight, from £2,650. www.easternsafaris.com; www.naturalhighsafaris.com
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Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi International Airport is claiming a world first with the introduction of individual “sleeping pods”. The Finnish-designed pods resemble reclining chairs with a sliding shutter that encloses them, isolating the user from the light and noise of the terminal. Ten of the “GoSleep” pods have been installed, with a further 35 on order, and will eventually offer internet access and charging points for mobile phones. They cost AED45 (£8) per hour. www.adac.ae
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Ireland A mapping website that allows users to explore 17th-century Ireland will be launched on Monday. Historians from Trinity College Dublin scoured libraries and archives in Britain, Ireland and France to track down more than 2,000 maps from the Down Survey of Ireland, undertaken between 1656 and 1658. The maps have been brought together and overlaid on to Ordance Survey and Google maps, and made available as a free online resource for researchers and visitors. downsurvey.tcd.ie
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